The Andretti Formula E team has re-submitted its ATEC-01 for a new FIA homologation in an effort to fight at the front of the field in season three of the all-electric series.
The Andretti-designed ATEC-01 was intended to race in season two, but after a series of issues in the group tests held at Donington Park in August, the team chose to revert to the season one powertrain.
Since then, work has continued on the motor and inverter in an effort to get the systems reliable for a debut in season three, which will begin this autumn.
The ATEC-01 package was put together by the Andretti team in conjunction with its partners TE Connectivity and Houston Mechatronics for a proposed season two program.
“There were two options that we had with the ATEC-01 going forwards,” Andretti team principal Roger Griffiths told Motorsport.com this week.
“We could continue with the current homologation which limits you to changes, but we chose to re-submit a new homologation which effectively makes it an all-new car.
"It gives us much more freedom to make wholesale changes to the packaging, the design of the motor or the design of the inverter. Our intention is to see this project through and get it racing it in season three.
Andretti is allowed to test privately from January 1, and Griffiths is planning for the team to undertake the first track tests as soon as possible.
“We will test it and start our 15 allocated test days, probably in the late spring,” he confirmed.
Fruitful Punta test
The group Formula E test a day after the last round of the championship at Punta del Este just before Christmas was a positive one for Andretti, according to Griffiths.
“We had a really good test and we got through a large list of performance gains," he said. "Some worked, some didn’t, but on the whole we concluded the test in a lot better shape than we had been before that."
Like many of the teams in season three, Andretti has tried various vehicle dynamic enhancements on the car, particularly on the dampers, which is the only real mechanical element that can be actively developed on the car.
“We ran a variety of different parts and also explored some different strategies, and we looked at re-creating some of the scenarios we encountered in the race and work with the drivers to overcome some of the challenges," he continued.
“All-round, because we are running the season one configuration we are quite limited, particularly at the back, compared to the ‘manufacturer’ teams mainly because of the packaging which restricts where you can go.
“But I think we have picked up some grip from what we tried at the test which is obviously good.”
The test was particularly useful for Robin Frijns, who has had limited running in the car since being confirmed as Simona de Silvestro’s team mate in August.
“You have to remember that, particularly in Robin’s case, he has only done one day at Donington and then the three races.
"That is all the time he has had in the car, so it was good to use the test to get miles under his belt without the pressure of a race weekend,” he concluded.
So far Andretti has scored 17 points, all accrued by Frijns, who registered a memorable third position at Putrajaya despite completing the final few laps with a bent steering arm.